March 19th 2013 - Posted 5:30 PM Eastern Time


#1: Take Orlando Magic at +11 spread against Indiana Pacers risking 3 Units. (7:05 PM)

Even though Orlando have been a very poor team this season, they have been somewhat underrated recently given the fact that they are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 games for bettors backing them.

Those five covers include a win at New Orleans (105-102) as a 9-point dog, a home win over Philadelphia (99-91) as a 1-point dog, a 96-97 (OT) loss at Miami as a 15 point dog, a 104-117 loss at Oklahoma City as a 17.5-point dog, and a 109-115 loss at Milwaukee as a 9-point dog where they blew a 13-point lead in the 4th quarter!
As you can see, when the Magic are getting double-digits (or close to that) they have been competitive even when losing the games and have had little trouble covering the spread.

Orlando have been very competitive against some of the top teams in the league. One of those 2 non-covers during that stretch did come at the hands of the Pacers at home however in an 86-115 loss on March 8th less than two weeks ago.
That loss places the Magic in revenge mode tonight wanting payback for such an embarrassing defeat.

Indiana themselves are in a tough spot tonight.
They will be playing the second of a back-to-back and its 4th game in 5 days! They defeated Cleveland easily last night but I believe the Pacers will also have a hard time getting motivated to blow out a lowly Magic team they dominated just 10 days ago.

If motivation wasn't enough, David West missed last night's game and he's questionable to start tonight. So there's a good chance they'll be short-handed, which doesn't bode well for the fatigue they'll be feeling from playing 4 days in 5 days!
West is their second-leading scorer and rebounder. His presence could be sorely missed tonight and if he does play, he's unlikely to be 100% which will diminish his performance level.

Some more trends to consider:

- Orlando is 20-11 ATS as an underdog this season.

- Orlando is also 6-0 ATS in its last 6 road games.

- Orlando is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.

- Orlando is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.

- Indiana is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU win.

- Indiana is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a SU win of more than 10 points.

- Indiana is 0-4 ATS in its last 4 games following a ATS win.



#2: Take Middle Tennessee State at +3 spread against Saint Mary's Gaels risking 3 Units. (9:10 PM)

I am personally excited for this match up as I feel it will be one of the "better" games played tonight between two teams that really deserved to get into the NCAA Tournament this year. This is a last 4 in game where whatever team wins this game is in the tournament. St Marys has been in situations like this in the past and while they are a good team this season, I have just not been that impressed.

When a team shoots the 3 as well as St Mary's does, they are a hard team to beat but St Mary's has made a living out of beating up on some of the weaker teams in the league. It's easy to hit shots and rack up points against teams like Portland or Santa Clara but when it comes to playing a team of their level or above, they simply can not hang. We have seen that in their 3 games (3 losses) against Gonzaga this season and I believe we see that again tonight. Other than Gonzaga, St Mary's has not faced a team like this years' Blue Raiders.

The Blue Raiders will be coming into this game with a chip on their shoulders as they are out to prove that they can be the next big thing in college basketball and deserve to be in this tournament. Middle Tennessee State had a Top 30 RPI for much of this year for good reasons and it is going to love this chance to avenge that loss that it suffered to Florida International in the Sun Belt Tournament. This is a team that is going to sub and roatate frequently to keep fresh legs on the court and there are many players for the Blue Raiders who can shoot the basketball. The one shooter from St. Mary's that Mid Tennessee needs to worry about is Dellavedova.

MTSU has won 55 games over the last two seasons and tonight is perhaps the biggest game in school history. Middle Tennessee will come in ready and should win this game outright. Take the points.



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